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Humans

a book review

product linkHumans
sub-titlea Brief History of How We Fucked it All Up
authorTom Phillips
date reviewed2020.02.12
genreHistory
isbn9781335936639

I can't remember the last time I wanted to quote a book so extensively. This is a book about how humanity has a strong tendency to act without considering consequences. Drawing head-spinning parallels between some of today's events (Brexit and Trump's presidency being two obvious ones), the author goes through an extensive collection of historical disasters ranging from Scotland's aborted new-world empire to the downfall of an unfortunate early neighbor of the nascent Khanate of Genghis. One story alone is worth the price of the book; how one 20th Century chemist brought us both leaded gasoline and CFC's.

The tone and style of the book making for easy reading despite the content's urging you to find a light socket to lick. It's a fun read and an easy one, and I recommend it for anyone looking to make sense of this world. (Spoiler: anthropomorphic lead ruined generations, the same generations that are now leading this world into its craziest orbit yet.)

The authors gentle sense of irony pokes through here and there in delightful ways. I'll leave with one quote and the pic that immediately caps the book:

"Maybe this is the moment that we change, and start learning from our history. Maybe all this is just being pessimistic, and no matter how dumb and depressing the world today may sometimes seem, in actuality humanity is getting wiser and more enlightened, and we are lucky enough to live at the dawn of a new age of not fucking up. Maybe we really do have the capacity to be better."

👍🏼 recommended

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rand()m quote

[We will be] rich in proportion to the number of things which we can afford to let alone.

—Thoreau